The Graduate Lounge

A beautiful oak door is opened by an usher wearing a suit. He beckons me inside with his white gloved hands. “Welcome to the Graduate Lounge, Flossie” he says, smiling. “Thank you.” I reply, smiling back. A sudden intake of breath . . . to my left, is a bank of running shoes of all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours pinned to the wall. I walk towards them. Then I notice a square glass tile on the floor with two footprints on it. The usher gestures for me to stand on the tile. I do so. All of a sudden, the trainers that are not my size on the wall fade into the background and those that are my size and perfect for my gait come forward, jostling for position, wavering as if to say “pick me, pick me!” Oh, I am a bit overwhelmed, I hadn’t expected this. I look at the usher and explain that I have just bought a new pair of shoes, perhaps I don’t need another pair just yet. “It’s fine, Flossie,” he replies, “go ahead, you can choose any pair you like” another reassuring smile passes across his face. “Oh well, then, if you insist.” But which pair to choose? Oh those are pretty, the blue ones, but I’ve already got some turquoise ones. Hmm, what to do . . . “could I have the fuchsia pink ones please?” (They’ll go with my complexion at the end of my runs!)

I then move on to what can only be described as a clear glass tube (a bit like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when someone goes up a chute, but it isn’t a chute, more like the size of an old telephone box). The usher gestures for me to get in, again with his reassuring smile. So I do. Within seconds I appear to have been x-rayed or something. I walk out of the “tube” and suddenly in front of me beautiful running tops magically appear, along with ¾ length capris, tights, jackets, socks (twin lined, of course) together they look like the colours of liquorice allsorts. As I walk forward, I am transformed into wearing the most attractive running outfit, all colours beautifully co-ordinated and matching my hair colour and my complexion. That tube must have been a mixture of a “Colour-Me-Beautiful” machine combined with a measuring one!

Fabulous! I walk further on and I see a treadmill. “Please . . .” the usher gestures me to get on the treadmill. I get on it, a little nervously, and the machine counts down “3-2-1- GO” I start running, it’s a perfect pace for me. “How long do I run for?” I ask the usher, who is standing to my left, but, before he can answer, the treadmill stops. “Please, put your phone on here.” He gesticulates to a glass podium with a small rectangular glass tile. I do as he says. My phone lights up for a split second and then switches off. “What happened?” I ask the usher. “Your phone now has all your favourite music on it so that it plays at the perfect beat to your run rate, Flossie.” “Oh, how amazing, thank you!” I reply.

Now I have arrived at a glass room, everything is clear and bright. “So now Flossie, you get to choose where you would like to run.” “What do you mean?” “Well, you can run anywhere in the world, in any season . . . your choice, you can even run up in the sky or under the sea, this is a virtual running machine, you see.” “Oh my, how wonderful. Well, could I perhaps have a medley of lots of different places around the world, including the sky and the sea?” “That’s not necessary, Flossie, you have plenty of time, you are always welcome to return to the Graduate Lounge whenever you want.” “Oh can I? Oh well then, in that case . . . how about under the sea? But will I need Scuba gear and what about running against the currents?” “Don’t worry about that, you don’t need Scuba gear and the water won’t act as resistance against you either. This is a magical machine.” (Silly me, of course it is). “If I am running along the sea bed, I don’t want to damage the coral . . .” “You won’t, it will be fine.” “Oh alright, if you’re sure!”

The usher leaves and I am now in the glass room, all on my own. Within moments I am underwater, in the sea, it’s warm, but it can’t be too deep, because I can see the sunlight breaking through above me. It’s twinkling like jewels on the surface of the sea and a beam of sunlight is directly in front of me. The sea is a beautiful cerulean blue. I begin to run, the usher is right, no scuba gear required here. It’s just like a giant aquarium. There are blue fusiliers to my right, orange and white clown fish in front of me, red coral grouper to my left and a myriad of glassfish all around. In the distance I can see a graceful manta ray coming towards me. There is a pod of dolphins playing, spinning up out of the sea and splashing back down into the water. Then I hear Laura’s voice “Well done, your 30 minutes’ running is up.” Oh really, so soon?

I walk out of the glass room . . . to my left is a smart, modern, trendy bar. “What can I get you?” the barman asks. “Well, I really should rehydrate first, after my run, so a large glass of water, please.” “No need, your body has automatically rehydrated when you came out of the running room,” responds the barman. Oh, of course, it would do, wouldn’t it, this is magic, I forgot. It doesn’t need to stretch afterwards, either. “In that case, I’ll have a glass of champagne!” I walk further on to see a beautiful array of salads, mixed, green, Waldorf, Niçoise . . . I select the salade Niçoise. Then there are stunning fresh fruits, strawberries, raspberries, oranges, blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, kiwi, grapes, watermelon, ogen, cantaloupe and honeydew. I pick a little bit of everything. I walk towards a table of Graduates, all smiling and chatting, eating their delicious fare. “Hello, I’m Flossie, I’m new here, may I join you?”

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23 Replies

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  • You & Irish john should definitely write a book!! I couldn't stop reading & I'm definately joining you on the next run.....round the world... 😂😂 my tea & toast doesn't taste so good now😂😂x

  • Imagine being in the GL then! SP 😉

  • Are you a writer? Wonderful reading and I want to visit the graduate lounge!!!!

  • We are all welcome whenever we want a visit! Thank you ju-ju- 😊

  • Brilliant. From all your posts I think the title of your book could be "The little mermaid avoids walking the plank and graduates to the lounge with Flunkies and has tea with the Vicars Wife"

    Snappy title hey ? Needs some work on it !

    Just what I needed a cuppa and good read after my run today !

    Better than the "Doom and Gloom Sunday" supplement !

  • Excellent joepublic just got back from Bath. Jolly cold but lovely day! 😊

  • The beginning of that post reminded me of Hotel California "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave..."

  • Oh does that sound a bit like the lotus eater too? x

  • Amazing! If only this shopping experience for running gear actually existed... Perhaps this is what Heaven is like?

  • Nice one melly4012, I think it is runner's paradise or my idea of Heaven! 😊

  • Really enjoyed reading that :)

  • Thank you debze I am glad x 😊

  • Sounds like the perfect place to be 😆great writing flossie 😊

  • Thank you aliboo70 😊It's where I am in my imagination!

  • Flossie, I love it. The best are having my favourite music at the perfect beat to my run rate and the virtual runs anywhere I want. Listening to all of you on this forum, there are so many places I would love to run to....

    thanks Flossie for introducing me to this magical world

  • You're very welcome! I think I am going to create a bucket list of all the places where I would like to run. Then see if I get to run in any of them in reality! 😊

  • Well done. Congratulations 😊

    I just simply want to run on the seafront. Don't care where 😊

    Good to have running aims I think ☺ It's all out there for you now. You just have to don those magic shoes ☺

  • Thank you misswobble. Running along the seafront is one I would love to do. :)

  • I really fancy Morecambe Bay 😊

  • It would be rather splendid to be able to run all around the coastline of the UK now wouldn't it? I think I'll just settle for day trips to the coast, a little joggette and journey home! I now want to see how long it would take me to drive to various places . . . :)

  • I live in the centre of the country so the coast seems remote to me. I managed to get to Bamburgh summer before last but I had shin splint. I had wanted to run their Blue Riband route but couldn't so I walked it with my husband instead 😊 By hook or by brook I will get back there and run it 😊 I would also like to run with Kat up in Grange, finishing with tea and cakes on the prom. Anglesey is on my list too.

  • Love your 'prefect' graduates lounge Flossie22 😄

    Its sort of like that isn't it. New running gear treats (cos your really into this now) a new running playlist (cos you've been looking forward to some 'proper' non-Laura music and longer routes.

    The best bit though is knowing you can run and run and wanting to go out and do it 😊 and that comes from inside yourself.xx

    Sorry to hear about your knee niggle, it could just be a bit overworked.Take care and you will be back out soon.xx

  • Thank you so much Jan-now-runs. I think you are absolutely right. I still cannot believe how much I enjoy running. My knee niggle seems to be getting better after putting it up and ice on it, swelling seems to be going down, thankfully. I think it was a slight muscle strain (there's only "slight" muscle there anyway! LOL) Anyway, I am going to give it a good rest and get out on it when it feels much better. 😊 xx

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